Fringe Box



Quirky Surrey Polling Stations

Published on: 20 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2023

GBC Polling Stations. Click on the image to go to an interactive map on the GBC website.

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

When many Surrey voters head out to cast their ballot in local elections on May 4 they will go to the village halls, community centres and schools that are often used as polling stations.

But some will visit more unusual locations, including a pub, a theatre and a former home for “vagrants and casual workers” all being used as polling stations.

Local elections are being held in all 11 districts and boroughs across the county, though not all residents will go to the polls.

Some councils, including Elmbridge, Tandridge and Woking, elect their councillors “by thirds”, meaning one-third of council seats are up for election each time.

Others, including Guildford and Epsom and Ewell, hold “all out” elections every four years.

At the Bull Inn, in Warlingham, people voting in Tandridge District Council elections will be able to grab a pint once they are done and drink it in the pub’s garden.

It is the third time the pub has been used as a polling station, and tea and coffee will be served in the morning with alcohol available from midday.

While voters in Esher, within Dominic Raab’s parliamentary ward, will tread the boards of the Esher theatre to cast their vote.

A production of City Of Dreams will run at the theatre until April 29, and there is a performance of Cool Britannia Cabaret the day after the vote.

It’s not the only theatre to be used as a polling station on May 4, with the Epsom Playhouse also being used as a polling station for voters in Epsom and Ewell’s Town ward.

Some voters in Guildford will have the opportunity to cast their ballot at the Spike in the borough’s Castle ward.

The purpose-built home for vagrants and casual workers, which opened in 1906, was built to separate vagrant workers from those within the main workhouse.

It was lights on at The Spike polling station during the evening of May 2 2019 during the last borough council election.

In 2005, the Charlotteville Jubilee Trust fundraised to rescue the building, after a period of it being used by St Luke’s Hospital before its relocation to the Royal Surrey site, and after it was listed as a Grade II building.

The Community Centre and Heritage Centre now on the site opened in 2008.

Polling stations on May 4 will be open from 7am until 10pm, and voters should receive a polling card from their district council to let them know which polling station to attend.

It is also the first local elections where voters nationwide will need to show ID in order to be able to vote.

A full list of accepted forms of voter ID is available on the website and the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 5pm on Tuesday, April 25.

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